Setting Boundaries – How to Say No and Prioritize Your Needs

setting boundaries

No. It is such a short word, but at times, it feels impossible to say. Setting boundaries is a necessity, but that doesn’t necessarily make it easy to do. Maybe you hate the idea of letting someone else down. Perhaps you are terrified of appearing rude or ungrateful. Or maybe you have a habit of settling for less. Whatever the reason, it is essential to set clear boundaries and prioritize your needs. After all, your comfort and well being matters. From everyday tools to new age ideas…there are many ways to set boundaries and learn to say no to others.

Why Setting Boundaries is Important

In a physical sense, a boundary is a dividing line that creates necessary separation. For instance, there may be a fence between two different properties. In an emotional sense, a boundary is a limit you’ve set with another person or persons. It has to do with what you are or are not comfortable with. As an example, “I only respond to text messages before 8:00 p.m.” or “I would appreciate moving on from this discussion.” There are many ways to set boundaries. What it comes down to is clear communication about what you will and will not stand for. A lot of times, other people do not recognize that their actions are harmful or have impacted the emotional health of someone else. However, in some instances, people feel emboldened to take more than they give, which can leave you feeling drained and resentful. In both cases, boundaries are key.

Start to Set Clear Boundaries

There are many different approaches when it comes to setting boundaries. Remember that boundaries clearly place limits around your body, mind, and even your time. Without clear boundaries in place, it is possible for others (knowingly or unknowingly) to hurt you or take advantage of your kindness. Find a strategy that works for you and create more balance.

Take Time to Think About What Isn’t Working

You know you need to set boundaries…but it can be difficult to know where boundaries are actually needed in your life. Take a few minutes to think about your current situation. Is there someone in your life who makes you feel guilty and ashamed when you say no? Do certain people leave you feeling drained and exhausted? What parts of your life make you uncomfortable? What parts of your life do you look forward to? Once you have a better idea of what (or who) seems to be causing unnecessary stress in your life, it will become much easier to address the issue.

Use This Strategy for Clear Communication

According to Positive Psychology, there are three steps to take when it comes to boundary setting. The first is to be clear and straightforward when expressing your needs. The second step is to state what you do want rather than what you do not want. Lastly, it is recommended that you accept any feelings of discomfit related to boundary setting. After all, speaking honestly about what you need can be difficult. Especially if it isn’t something you are used to doing! Sit with that discomfort and know that over time, it will become easier and easier to prioritize your needs.

Still struggling to say no? To clearly state what you need? Here are a few suggestions:

  • I would love to help out, but my schedule is quite full at the moment.
  • It is really hard for me to say no, but unfortunately, I need to this time.
  • Could we discuss this again in a few weeks?

Alternatively, you can always mute someone on social media or block their calls on your phone. Those strategies may be a little more extreme, but sometimes they are necessary.

Incorporate New Age Tools for Protection and Boundaries

If you are someone that benefits from new age tools, breathe easy. There are many options to consider when it comes to setting boundaries. For instance, certain crystals can be used. Amazonite makes it easier to set strong personal boundaries and black tourmaline offers protection. There are also guided meditations to consider. These meditations can help you visualize saying no to others and setting clear boundaries before you do so in real life. Additionally, there is cord cutting. This process removes energetic ties, which allows you to move forward from individuals or situations that are unhealthy. Try one or more of these new age methods as you start to set boundaries in your life and learn to say no when necessary.

Setting boundaries is healthy. It can benefit your overall well being and the relationships you have with others. There is no better time to start saying no…and start prioritizing your needs this year.

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